I read this business title in hard copy on a recent business trip and found it a useful skim. Much like all the Lee Iaccoca books and lectures that we suffered through in the 80s and 90s, this man is a (very successful) gas-bag. Pick it up for a quick skim at best, there are some good career lessons and caveats in the book.
Like most children I ignored my father's advice, given years ago, that I should read this book. At age 45 I picked it up and can see Dad was (once again) right and I was wrong. Some of these ideas will sound familiar to you because you may already practice them. Old ideas like personal integrity, connecting with people on a thoughtful and personal level, being able to admit your mistakes, being forthright, candid and authentic in your dealings and being actually interested in people and what they want (instead of just what you want!) are powerful and timeless. Read this book with an open mind, noting that it is an old book and the references are from a man's world of old - but the principles apply to all genders. I apply these concepts to my law practice every day and find they have increased my income and grown my referral network. Put this one on your shelf, it is worth the subscription price.
This is a book I discovered a few years ago. When I can, I urge recent college grads to put it on their reading list. I just bought it for my nephew who graduated last year and started a management trainee position at a large rail company. There are several useful principles laid out in this book, but what appeals to me the most is the author's underlying theme (not explicitly articulated) that there must be a personal touch to what you do. This is refreshing, truthful, and a departure from the Machiavellian culture promoted by some books. This book shows you that you must connect with people if you want to move up and be successful. And it shows you positive and easy ways to do this. I would caveat that this book, like a lot of business titles, is oriented toward those in sales, so if you are not in sales (like me) you must either toss or modify some of these principles. I have all the principles in this book in a note in my blackberry so I can review them when I have a moment to reflect.
I work at a telcom company that has been going through a financial scandal for the last 3 years. Our general counsel gave everyone in the legal department a copy of this book. I had my doubts about books like this after a former general counsel at a different company had all his lawyers read Who Moved My Cheese (a very silly, insulting not-useful book). Most of the attorneys I know (an all-knowing, all skeptical bunch) took something away from this book. We found it helpful. The gist of it seems to be something that my father, an artillery officer, always said. That is, to get problems solved, get to the "what" rather than the "who".
I am an avid reader of revolutionary history and love to read founding father biographies where I can find them. I must say that this biography, though interesting, was not a captivating read. I hang with books that are tough or boring, and this book exhausted me. The author spends a lot of time covering everyone BUT Madison. This book is still very interesting as a backgrounder for this period of time, and for early development of U.S. Constitutional doctrine. As the author concedes, Madison left little personal written record behind. Maybe this is the best we will ever see on this interesting and deeply flawed man. If you have time for this book, put it behind Hamilton, Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Robt. E Lee, Grant, and even John Paul Jones. Still worthwhile if you have the time! The music in between chapters made me want to pull my hair out - it sounded like some dreadful NPR air-filler.
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